Mark Cuban Funds a Study on Flopping

During his State of the League address prior to the start of the NBA Finals, Commissioner David Stern admitted to the press last night that flopping is a problem with no real solution at the moment. Mark Cuban, who has a lot of money, is taking steps to correct this. The Dallas Mavericks owner is funding a study by Southern Methodist University researchers to examine the flopping epidemic. Per the press release: “Biomechanics experts at Southern Methodist University have teamed with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to carry out a scientific study of the unsavory practice of player flopping in basketball and other sports. Flopping is a player’s deliberate act of falling, or recoiling unnecessarily from a nearby opponent, to deceive game officials. Athletes engage in dramatic flopping to create the illusion of illegal contact, hoping to bait officials into calling undeserved fouls on opponents. The phenomenon is considered a widespread problem in professional basketball and soccer. To discourage the practice, the National Basketball Association in 2012 began a system of escalating fines against NBA players suspected of flopping, including during the playoffs, ‘NBA announces anti-flopping rules for playoffs.’ The Cuban-owned company Radical Hoops Ltd. awarded a grant of more than $100,000 to fund the 18-month research study at SMU, Dallas. ‘The issues of collisional forces, balance and control in these types of athletic settings are largely uninvestigated,’ said SMU biomechanics expert Peter G. Weyand, who leads the research team. ‘There has been a lot of research into balance and falls in the elderly, but relatively little on active adults and athletes.’ The objective of the research is to investigate the forces involved in typical basketball collisions, said Weyand, an associate professor of applied physiology and biomechanics in the SMU Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.”